Band: Dead To A Dying World
Label: Profound Lore Records
Release Date: 19 April 2019
Country: United States
Format reviewed: FLAC
Out of the big seven forms of art, I believe music has the most cathartic potential, that, of course, only if it’s played from the heart. Be it happiness, calm, sadness, anger, music will carry some sort of emotional charge. Even if it’s a group you don’t like, it will stir some feelings, albeit negative. This is why I will always choose it over any other form of artistic expression. Music will never leave me feeling alone and emotionally or mentally numb. Or so I thought until I listened to the new album from DEAD TO A DYING WORLD
The band formed in 2010 in Dallas and during their almost one decade of existence they released three full-lengths, “Elegy” being their latest. Also, they are a seven-piece, something not so common, but every member has an important role when it comes to building the sound of the group.
“Elegy” spans over six songs, three, shorter interludes and alternating with three huge, monolithic tracks, all adding up to almost 50 minutes and this should be a moderate amount of playtime, but it will pass so quickly that you won’t even notice. I saw people describe them as a brand of sludge, but I believe it is a wrong tag and that they don’t even need to be put in a certain box.
It all starts with “Syzygy”, one of the shorter songs. During its four minutes, you will hear nothing but clean sounds that will transport you in a whole different world. This approach changes a bit with the second track, “The Seer’s Embrace”, because as soon as the piece starts, harsh, abrasive sounds rush to greet the listener. But it’s not long until it transitions to a quieter part, like descending from a mountain peak, where winds howl without rest, to a quiet meadow. The next interlude brings in the spotlight a gorgeous operatic female voice, accompanied by not only the usual instrumentation, but also bells that resonate throughout its duration. We are eased in the following longer track that also has the transitions I mentioned before. The last interlude is the shortest one, but in my opinion the most beautiful, especially the moment the clarinet makes its entrance. The closer, “Of Moss And Stone”, is the longest track and the most relentless out of all of them, that ends in a very surprising, interesting and somewhat frustrating way, with a screeching, metallic noise that serves as some sort of wake up call.
In the opening of the review I specified something peculiar that happened to me when listening to the album: I felt nothing. One might think this is bad, but I can assure you it absolutely is not. After a few more listening sessions I figured it out: the album captures perfectly the world in itself, a natural utopia that was not plagued by human beings that leeched on its resources until everything ran dry. In such a world there are no feelings, no wonder. From the first second I was allowed to explore this world, to climb its rocks, to walk through its trees, to sit and look aimlessly around me, but you are not allowed to remain there, to stain its perfection, hence the metallic sounds at the end, that bring you back in the industrialised reality we sadly live.
What sets apart this band from many others I listened to is the masterful implementation of different instruments, like experimental percussion, a hurdy gurdy (a stringed instrument that produces sound by a hand crank-turned, rosined wheel rubbing against the strings), cello, piano and most notably, the viola. If some of the instruments make only one apparition, the viola is a mainstay in every song and it is so well implemented in the sound that it feels like a necessity and without it, it wouldn’t be the same. Another notable thing is the presence of two vocalists, Mike Yeager and Heidi Moore, that became kind of a staple for the band. The constant synergy between Mike’s bellowing wails and Heidi’s piercing screams offers a dynamism that I never encountered before.
Even if it’s only for 50 minutes, DEAD TO A DYING WORLD will let you traverse a parallel universe in which you will be able to see things you never even dreamed about and will show you that the world would be better without the ultimate parasite, the human. 9.5/10 Metal Gentleman
9.5/10 – Epic Storm
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